Gif by : Lipeli

Decluttering, cleansing, finding myself again underneath all of the debris.

Ever since I first had one up until now, my desk has always been a mess. The result of a scatterbrained eagerness for any kind of learning, an ache to pick up new skills like a child wants to adopt every stray puppy they see.

Fountain pens for calligraphy,

charcoal for sketches,

Chinese ink,

origami material,

pages of Spanish vocabulary,

a mandarin handbook.

There was always a story to be found in the messes I made. Always something to read in between the layers of stuff strewn all over. We all leave traces behind. Like the wind carves unfathomable patterns into sand dunes, like the waves imprint the shore in abstruse motifs. Like paw prints left in the mud, marks left against a tree trunk. Oddly, I felt this was mine.

Something about it felt deeply personal. Like that mess pattern was one only I could create, one wrought from my whimsical thinking, my moods, my interests, my states of mind, my worlds. Something that was entirely different from what another person’s mess would be like if they had the same items at hand. It also gave me a lot of places to hide behind. Behind a book or wads of paper, lead staining my fingers to keep people away, making them believe in the idea of intense creation, of passion and creativity running wild, something that should not be interrupted, obstructed.

But I also kept a lot of junk.

Sentimental junk.

Ridiculous things I was too afraid to throw out. Because somehow, they became not souvenirs, but escape routes. As though holding onto them would take me back, away from not so pleasant realities. I hoarded these insignificant things, bits and bobs, almost compulsively. I dug my nails into these scraps from the past, into wood shavings left from once impressive moments. I kept so many things because sometimes the present is scary. And the future both marvelous and uncertain; foreign. But the past, the past is home.

It was then, I think, that nostalgia sank so deep into my skin. Filled my pores with the scent of old pages, of yellowed memories. Gave me this faraway look that I cannot shake from my eyes. Cloaked me in gentle sadness, in longing for a place and time that no longer exist outside of my brain and its peach-coloured memories.

I lived in the past. In worlds spun from idealised, romanticised memories. I swam in diluted truths also given new life by a bored imagination, a creativity itching to get started again.




I have began throwing them out, now.

Detaching myself from the havens they once promised.

It’s a sort of materialism, too. I realise. By wanting to keep a moment alive through an object, you end up glorifying it instead, sometimes forgetting why it even matters so much— you just know possessively, agressively that it does.

So yes, I am done with the button that fell off one of my clothes at some point in time. Done with random junk from my school days. And old receipts.

But I am still keeping my movie ticket stubs. Still wondering how I am going to reuse the unstitched sleeves from my ship-wheels and sailboats dress. Because, come on, that’s symbolic. I’m also cleaning out my phone. Deleting near-duplicates of the same shot. Keeping only what matters truly (and well a little bit more, too).

And I am not obsessing over keeping things either. I am not digging my nails into things, not wrenching my arms possessively around overflowing cardboard boxes. I am learning to let go. To enjoy now. 

Mentally too, it’s liberating. Like I’m shedding years of old relationships that no longer hurt now that I am freed of them. No longer am I fractured, either. I am not whole, but…pieced back together, even if sometimes it feels like I just stuck a band-aid on it and prayed the bits and pieces would hold themselves together.

Under the weight of clutter and memories, I feel like I shrank a bit all this time.

Even now, I am still messy.

But I clean up more often. I throw out old bills, pamphlets. I don’t let things clutter my space, my mind. After all, with all these useless things out of the way, I can finally set to work on creating a mess that is all me.

Listening to :

Alone, beautifully.

“There are no rules, you know at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday? All the rules are elsewhere. In office buildings and schools ; in pages of binding, binded contracts. “

Art by: Anato Finnstark

Have you ever wondered what life was like in an unoccupied space? What happens in a space left bare, with no one to witness what happens there? Do you realise, I asked myself, that everyday, all around this gigantic world, right now, there are millions of places like this, where wonderful, unknown things are happening, that no one will ever have knowledge of?

Today, I came back home early. I passed by the stone church with the rose roof, and the small, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it park facing it. I passed by much before the first cars leaving work started filling the streets with smoke and haste and an air of impatience. Much before people started rushing. Much before Time mattered. There are no rules, you know at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday? All the rules are elsewhere. In office buildings and schools ; in pages of binding, binded contracts. But outside of that, Life just flows. Undisturbed, hushed, covered as though a scene from within a snowglobe (and I a symbolic human figure). And there it was, that liminal space. There was that opening, that silver of time during which the small park detached itself from earth, from reality a little. At the same time I stood in awe, an old man cycled past, half dozing on his rusty bicycle. It was so quiet you could hear the sound of his tires pressing against the asphalt, and crackling a little on stray bits of gravel.

In the park, a kaleidoscope* of small, pale yellow butterflies was fluttering by a low flower bush. The wind blew gently, a little foreign, carrying some unknown scent. I thought to myself that if I hadn’t caught that moment, it would have slipped forever into ignorance and nothing would have come of it.

There is beauty in being alone in places and moments like these. There is power, yes, in witnessing all these things that would otherwise never have made it into the human consciousness. But at its core is humility, reverence. People often say that ‘this and this place gives a whole other view at night’, but places are whole other places too without people. Places are whole other worlds when you are alone. When you get to witness, all on your own, the way a tree loses its petal-like leaves, fluttering gently in colored heaps by its roots. It is like a lullaby for the eyes. For something deeper, even. It satiates you for that moment, completely. Fills all your needs and wants to the brim with contentment. With gratitude, with “Thank you for letting me witness this moment.”.

It stirs something in you, carries you away for a little while.

And for much longer every time you think of it.

It is a memory, yes, but also an endless journey.


Listening to :


* YES, a group of butterflies can actually be called a kaleidoscope. How beautiful is this. Unreal, I tell you.

Also, this :


I get so swept up writing about the time I got swept up that words like ‘flutterblies’ happen…That being said, ‘butterfly’ is actually an anagram of ‘flutter by’ soooo…


Stellar Thoughts •

“It’s hard to explain where I’m coming from when one minute I am laughing with everyone else at the beach and the next, I am staring off into space, into the layers of sand washing away into the sea. Thinking of scenes too otherworldly to comprehend, of thoughts that spirit you away.”

Gif from the movie “Howl’s Moving Castle”

It’s hard to explain where I come from.

Not geographically. Or culturally, ethnically, socially. Not through these kinds of lenses, not through methods tried and true. There is not one lens that fits, not really. Nor is there a combination of them. All they project is an approximation, an à peu près* image, a translation for a word that has no equivalent.

But no, what I mean is that it is hard to explain—when I emerge from dazedly staring off into space— the depths of the worlds I was just a second before absorbed into. It is hard to explain what started it. How, from one blade of grass, my mind has built cities and ignited stars, conjured yellowed childhood memories and movie scenes. I cannot explain where I come from during bus journeys, cannot explain how there is this clear wistfulness pooling in my hands, staring me right back in the face, reading to me memories I have never experienced.

I’d give anything to hear

You say it one more time

I cannot explain how piano pieces make me feel unspeakable things, make me shudder, and my heart tremor with beauty and thinly-veiled fear. The fear that there is, somewhere in this wordless melody, hanging in the air between the vibrating strings of a piano, an echo of my own thoughts. And more importantly, the knowledge that behind it, there are hands and a brain and a heart that knew how to describe all of this giant, wordless feeling that swirls perennially inside of me. In no time at all, I can feel the fear, the anxiety, the disbelief from having found all that I have been looking for.

It’s hard to explain where I’m coming from when one minute I am laughing with everyone else at the beach and the next, I am staring off into space, into the layers of sand washing away into the sea. Thinking of scenes too otherworldly to comprehend, of thoughts that spirit you away.

Sometimes, my mind drifts. Sometimes I am shipwrecked in the Sea of Tranquility, feeling like the last person in the universe. And where silent moments before would find me stargazing from Earth, I am now watching its remains as though it twinkles as the stars do. As though its solitary ruins will guide me through the night, like the stars once did.

I feel like one of them, now, these stars I have longed to hold.

And yet, it all means very little now. I wanted so much to be somewhere else, to be part of the universe as though it were the big city and I just a country girl from Earth. But there is only silence now. The stars are not loud and the planets revolve without a word, while their moons follow. Some days, I think of extinguishing the stars, of putting them out and turning the lights off on this old, old universe. Other days, I sit quietly by a piano, nestled in the sea of tranquility and play a song I’m not sure I remember. I play to no one in particular, I play to keep the music alive, to not forget. I play because if I forget, nobody else will remember. I play to keep a part of my soul alive.

So it’s hard to say where I come from.

I mean, I’m not even sure how I got there.

Which winding paths and dirt roads I took, which side alleys I bypassed, which tracks I made myself.

That the universe was made

Just to be seen by my eyes **

But I think that lenses don’t really help. It is best, I think, to view these things with a naked eye.

*   à peu près : almost, nearly, approximately (but it is, to me, one of those expressions best left in the original language).

Listening to :

** The words in italics are all lyrics from this wonderful, wonderful song.